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Chael Sonnen Predicts Dricus Du Plessis Will Have A 'Problem' If He Doesn't Show Up At UFC 293

Israel Adesanya’s second reign as middleweight champion gets underway this weekend at UFC 293, where he’ll compete on Oceanic soil for the first time since his 2019 crowning.

In a close-to-home fight, “The Last Stylebender” will put the gold on the line against #5-ranked contender Sean Strickland. “Tarzan” has had just a month to prepare for his first title opportunity after the original plans for Adesanya fell away.

Following a crown-regaining success against Alex Pereira in April, the champ’s next opponent was quickly lined up, with the UFC branding Robert Whittaker vs. Dricus Du Plessis at UFC 290 a title eliminator.

But while the South African secured top contender status by knocking “The Reaper” out in Las Vegas, he ultimately chose against making the turnaround for Saturday’s event Down Under.

Since then, Adesanya and his coach Eugene Bareman have warned “Stillknocks” that his shot at gold is no longer cemented. And now, one former fighter has told Du Plessis that it could dissipate for good should he not appear cageside at UFC 293

Sonnen: Du Plessis Won’t Be ‘Part Of The Story’ Without UFC 293 Appearance

During a video recently uploaded to his YouTube channel, ex-middleweight and light heavyweight UFC contender Chael Sonnen assessed the title picture at 185 pounds heading into this weekend’s pay-per-view event.

In the past, “The American Gangster” has advised Du Plessis to choose his next step wisely. And in his eyes, deciding against the long-haul flight to Australia would be the wrong decision.

“Who is Izzy going to call out after his match with Sean Strickland? … He has never left the cage without letting us, the audience, know who’s next. And by the way, he’s gotten his way 100 percent of the time,” Sonnen said. “If Izzy wins, it appears it’s going to be Du Plessis or (Khamzat) Chimaev should he beat Paulo Costa… Make no mistake, there is some marching orders.

“Israel has told Du Plessis, ‘You need to be here. Step number one, you need to come here and you need to be here.’ … He’s not joking about that,” Sonnen continued. “If he’s in the cage and he looks out and there’s no Du Plessis, who did not do the one thing that Izzy told him you need to do, I don’t think he’s gonna call him out… If Du Plessis doesn’t go, I do not believe he’s going to be part of the story… if he doesn’t show up, I think it’s gonna be a problem. And I’m not convinced he is gonna show.”

With time ticking away, it appears likely that Adesanya will carry out a post-fight interview without Du Plessis in his direct line of sight should he have his hand raised over Strickland.

And having shared Sonnen’s sentiment by insisting that he calls the shots in his middleweight reign, the #1-ranked contender could be left waiting with bated breath when the Nigerian-New Zealander takes to the microphone.

Israel Adesanya sends a message to Dricus Du Plessis 😳 #UFC293

“I call the shots. You don’t call the shot, dickless. You need to understand this, You can sit pretty wherever you want, but if I decide to, I might give it to whoever wins between Costa and Khamzat, not you.”

— MMA Fighting (@MMAFighting) September 6, 2023

Read Also: Dricus Du Plessis Outlines Plan To Push For Israel Adesanya Title Fight In Africa

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